Hy-Vee secures Caroline’s Cart for those with special needs

Marshalltown’s Hy-Vee grocery store recently secured a shopping cart designed to ease the minds of folks shopping with people with special needs.

Corporate headquarters sent the store a product called Caroline’s Cart, which was created to keep special needs individuals safe while journeying through a store. After Hy-Vee voiced the news on their Facebook page, the post was quickly “liked” and “shared” by its followers. So far, several shoppers have noticed the new addition and the feedback has been positive.

“We thought it would be an opportunity to help the customers. It was something that was presented to us and we wanted to be the first in our area to get it,” Hy-Vee manager Stephen Larson said.

The cart allows a teen or adult to be seated in the front of the cart with ample room for groceries to go in the back. A front brake can be applied by pressing it down with a foot, to prevent the cart from rolling as well as keep it still for a person to get into.

The safety belt offers added security and the cart supports up to 250 pounds of weight.

It is geared toward older children and adults with disabilities and allows these people to still participate in the shopping experience.

Caroline’s Cart was invented by Drew Ann and David Long, the parents of a special needs child named Caroline, who has Rett syndrome, a rare neurological disorder mainly affecting females. The parents saw a need for such a product after their daughter outgrew the child seat on the average shopping cart. Instead of struggling to push both a cart and wheelchair – or leaving Caroline behind with a babysitter every time groceries were needed – a plan was formulated.

Drew Ann Long founded Parent Solutions Group, LLC, designed the cart herself and got the product patented. She partnered with Technibilt who makes the carts.

“There is not a store that doesn’t need it. There is not a store that can tell me they won’t benefit from it. There is not a community that doesn’t have families like mine,” Long told LifeNews.

Caroline’s Cart is kept with the kid’s carts at the front of Hy-Vee. To learn more about the carts and how to order them, contact the company at 828-464-7388.